Alphaville – Crazyshow

Alphaville… a band most people will directly associate with the golden era of 80’s synthpop music. They made one classic album, “Forever young” (194), with three big hits: the romantic title track, the rather cheesy ‘Sounds like a melody’ and of course ‘Big in Japan’ a timeless hitsong. But to many it will perhaps come as a surprise that this German act is still active and even has a active fanbase. In the first half of the 90’s Alphaville released albums now and then, without too much commercial success (outside of Germany).

In 1998 the band, began a new chapter. They launced, from then on their offical platform for communication, which they use intensively, amongst others for publishing new songs. In that year they released an ambitious limited box, only available through their website: “Dreamscapes”, no less than 8 cd’s with remixes, demoes, live and unreleased tracks from the band’s history. In 2000 an album called “Salvation” was released, as well as a live album.

Now a follow-up to Dreamscapes has been made available: the 4 cd box “Crazy Show”, with new tracks and rare material from the last years, with over 250 minutes of playing time. There are also a few covers present, like ‘Do the Strand’ from Roxy Music and George Harrisons ‘Something’. Again this luxurious (velvet & gold) box is only available through internet (in Europe at, in USA/Canada at But you have to really want it, because it will cost you no less than 80 euro…

Alphaville in 2003 makes good popmusic, with warm melodies that are generally pleasing to the ear. Synths are still an important trademark, as well as the typical (rather high) vocals of Marian Gold. But acoustic and electric guitars have also found their place in the line-up. I reveived a promo cd with 11 tracks from this box. A few songs are rather good: ‘Ways’, ‘Zoo’ and ‘Shadows she said’, synth ballads with a lot of emotion. But there are also various tracks present which I don’t like at all, like ‘Crazyshow’ (in collaboration with Klaus Schulze) and ‘Miracle Healing’. Overall the music of Alphaville sounds ‘mature’, but not very exciting. Everything is rather smooth and mainstream, I miss some sharp edges.

artist: Alphaville
label: self-released
details: 4 cd-box (dreamscapes 9-12)